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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Elena Díaz Björkquist is a writer, historian, and artist from Tucson. Her two books of short stories, "Suffer Smoke" and "Water from the Moon," are about the people in Morenci, Arizona where she was born.
Elena has been on the Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) Speakers Bureau for since 2001 and is an AHC Scholar. She not only performs a Chautauqua as Teresa Urrea, a curandera who lived in the 1900's but also does two presentations about Morenci and one on el Día de los Muertos.
In 2001 Elena became a Research Associate and SIROW Scholar at the University of Arizona. She completed a project funded by AHC, "In the Shadow of the Smokestack," a website containing oral history interviews and photographs of Chicano elders living in Morenci during the Depression and World War II. In 2005 she finished another project funded by AHC and the Stocker Foundation, "The Tubac 1880's Schoolhouse Living History Program."
Elena is one of the founders of Sowing the Seeds, a collective of Latina writers. In 2002, she co-edited "Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos," an anthology written by the Comadres. The project was funded by AHC. Elena has also written a full-length play about Teresa Urrea that has had two readings in Tucson. Currently she is nearing completion of another collection of Morenci stories entitled "Albóndiga Soup" and is co-editing a second anthology by the Sowing the Seeds Collective entitled "Our Spirit, Our Reality."
As I browse through bookstores or watch TV, there are not many books or stories that celebrate life. This is a volume that does, capturing the experiences of note from many women. The offerings selected give an added dimension, with writers of various ages and from different walks of life. All in all, an entertaining read, filled with joy and sadness, the sweet memories of family and other beloved people. You'll find page after page of uplifting moments. And smiles too.
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This book gives me goose bumps. It comes from a very special place of integrity and depth. It is an anthology of memoir and poetry. I can relate to each contribution on a personal level. Its the sort of book you can just dip into and read a bit then go about your day knowing its still there waiting for you to come back to. I feel like these people, contributors, are so many friends. They have revealed their innermost personal thoughts without fear. You can read one page then contemplate that page throughout the day. Much of it is quite raw, close to the bone. Brings tears to my eyes. If you don't want to be moved don't get it. It would make a wonderful gift for a woman. I will buy it for my sister and sisters in law for Christmas and maybe one for my best friend as well.
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